Mormons - Accepting or Exclusionary?

Mormons - Accepting or Exclusionary?

My walk as a Mormon

Over the last six years I’ve investigated a number of different faiths and offshoots of Mormonism.  I was born into the LDS faith.  However, finding my place in the church hasn’t always been easy.  Part of that stems from my innate desire to increase my knowledge and not rely solely on spiritual experiences.  Part of it comes from the cognitive dissonance I experience when I act opposite of that which I believe. 

Let me preface the statements above by noting I’ve always been considered an active member of the Mormon faith.  I go to church, pay my tithing, read my scriptures and pray, I’ve been to the temple, and believe in the tenets of the church.  Yet, many times throughout my life I’ve felt disconnected and like I don’t fit in.  Part of that may be the perfectionist complex I have.  Part of it may be that while I believe the principals taught, I don’t always act accordingly – not in open rebellion, mind you, but out of impulse and at times trying to satisfy my selfish desires.  Does this make me a “Jack Mormon” (one who isn’t truly active LDS/Mormon)?  Or am I simply a human being doing my best? 

As I’ve studied a number of diverse fringe Mormon groups and other faiths/religions, I’ve come to the following conclusion – that I have a home in the Mormon Church.  Mormons are often viewed as sheep blindly following their leaders.  Some think that disagreement with common church thought is automatic grounds to be expelled from the church.  My experience has been different.  Instead, I find that most LDS Church leaders are not only tolerant, but accepting of my questioning nature.  They don’t try to change me, only try to encourage me to stay active in the Church the best way that I can.  They were even willing to assist me with dealing with my cognitive dissonance and accept me for the progress that I make – without expecting me to be perfect.

I am thankful for my home in the LDS/Mormon Church.  I am grateful that I can still be me.  I don’t agree with everything that comes from the mouth of its leaders or some of the history of the Church.  But, I find that there is more good in the Church and, as a whole, people that are tolerant and accepting of others, no matter where they are.